Kickstarting careers and diversifying the heritage sector
We recognise that the heritage sector – and our own organisation – needs to do more to achieve equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). We are committed to supporting the sector to better reflect and represent the UK public. Last year we set out to define an ambitious vision of inclusive heritage through our EDI Review.
The Review identified some key themes regarding under-representation in our workforce. To combat this, we have launched several traineeship and internship programmes to create the change we want to see in the sector.
Opportunities like this for the heritage sector are hard to come by, but they are so important for ensuring that the sector reflects the communities it serves.”
Windsor Fellowship trainee, Alisha Saleh
These opportunities allow young people to access the necessary skills and experience needed to work in the heritage sector. They also provide a longer term approach to diversifying our workforce and proactively delivering opportunities for marginalised communities.
Back in October 2020, we announced an exciting new traineeship programme in partnership with the Windsor Fellowship. Through the programme in January 2021 we recruited four young graduates from ethnically diverse communities to help them propel their careers in the heritage sector.
Trainee Jasmine Bullock has been working with the Engagement team (who support organisations to develop their applications) in London. She explains why internships and traineeships provide vital work experience for under-served communities: “I wanted to get involved in the Windsor Fellowship traineeship because it provided an accessible way for me to venture into the heritage sector. Prior to this I found it hard to get started in the sector.
“I think opportunities like the Windsor Fellowship traineeship are important in providing people from ethnically minoritised groups with access to sectors where we are usually under-represented. It also gives us important hands on experience in those sectors.”
Alisha Saleh has been working with the Workforce Development team (who support colleagues in their work and professional development) in Birmingham. Alisha believes internships are essential for diversifying the sector: “This traineeship offered an opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and experience in an area of work that had in the past felt inaccessible.
“Opportunities like this for the heritage sector are hard to come by, but they are so important for ensuring that the sector reflects the communities it serves.”
Change 100 is a programme led by Leonard Cheshire which creates opportunities for young people with disabilities. These internships provide participants with work experience which will assist with their future employability.
We welcomed our first two Change 100 interns in 2020 and another two are currently working with us.
We are piloting an internship programme in Scotland called 2027, created by Ten Years’ Time. This programme aims to involve more people from working-class backgrounds with grant giving.
The Scotland Team will take on our first 2027 intern this month.
All of our internships are paid and incorporate training and mentoring. They vary in length from three months to a year in duration.
It’s everyone’s past
We want heritage to tell everyone’s stories and represent everyone’s past. By ensuring heritage is inclusive, we ensure that no-one’s experience is missing. Find out more about our commitment to diversifying the heritage sector.